400 dead turtles and dolphins wash up since November in Florida, America
The number of dead manatees and sea turtles continues to climb as red tide strangles the life out of coastal Southwest Florida waters.
Bloom conditions started in November, and 400 stranded and dead sea turtles have been pulled from Lee, Collier, Charlotte and Sarasota county waters.
Lee County leads the way with 165 stranded and dead sea turtles. Collier accounted for 97 of those turtles.
A manatee that likely died due to red tide poisoning was retrieved from the Cape Coral Yacht Club on Tuesday while hundreds of residents and visitors were expressing their anger with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at a meeting nearby.
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“There was one dead female manatee,” said Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Michelle Kerr. “The cause of death is not determined yet, but it was found in a location with high concentrations of red tide. There was speculation that the manatee had a baby, a calf with her. She did not. She was actually found in a mating herd.”
The FWC found the manatee, tied a rope to its tail and dragged it to the boat ramp before a truck hauling a trailer was lowered into the water to retrieve the carcass.
The red tide has been lingered along the coast since November and may persist into 2019 since it’s typically broken up by cold fronts.
It’s been centered mostly around Sanibel and northern Lee County waters but at times has reached from the Tampa Bay area to the Florida Keys.
Fish kills were cleaned up in Collier County on Tuesday as well.
Counts have ranged from natural background levels to 1 million cells per liter and higher.
Fish kills and breathing irritation in humans can start when counts reach 10,000 cells per liter, according to the FWC.
A report released by FWC Wednesday shows counts of 1 million cells per liter from Sarasota to Naples.
To the south, in Estero Bay, Florida Gulf Coast University marine researcher Bob Wasno lead a trip of 27 high school students and found varying conditions.
At first, he said, he was seeing baitfish and mullet — fish that had likely died days before and were being washed in with the tide.
Then he captained the boat to the south end of Lover’s Key State Park.
“There’s lots of dead everything here,” Wasno said. “I’m watching a sea trout die right at my feet. There’s mullet, snook, pinfish, seasnakes, small grouper, and there’s a lot of it. And it’s looking very, very fresh.”
Courtesy of eu.news-press.com